Westminster Boys Lacrosse Undefeated Early in 2017
The Westminster boys lacrosse team suffered a difficult end to 2016. The Owls had a terrific regular season campaign, finishing 9-5 and earning the number one overall seed in their section of the MPSSAA 4A/3A North region.
After dispatching Sherwood 20-1 in the team's first game, Westminster faced Howard in the sectional final. In a back and forth game, Howard, which would eventually make the 4A/3A state final, edged Westminster 6-5 in triple overtime.
"I would like to think that going through that experience has motivated the captains and returning players," head coach Steve DeFeo said. "Anytime you have multiple opportunities to finish a game, particularly a playoff game, and you don't capitalize on those offensive possessions it should serve as a motivator for those players returning the following year."
The Owls have certainly played like a highly motivated unit so far this season.
Westminster is 3-0 this year, outscoring its trio of opponents 56-19. The team has beaten traditional Baltimore County powerhouse Dulaney, its Carroll County rival South Carroll and most recently, MIAA A Conference side Mount St. Joseph.
The Owls get contributions from all over the place on offense, with DeFeo saying the team doesn't have one player it truly relies on. Junior Alec Kozlowski leads the way with nine goals, while also chipping in six assists. Sophomore Bubba Love and freshman Conner Covey each have eight goals, with Love contributing seven assists.
Sophomore Chase Buckwalter leads the team with eight assists and has also scored five times. Senior Ryan McManus has five goals and five assists, while sophomore Noah Baugher has three goals and two assists. Junior Patrick Stewart has six goals and three assists, while senior midfielder Noah Park six goals and one assist.
The group's defense has also been excellent and led by the play of its senior goalie, Johnny Hulsman. Much like the attack, Wesminster's defense is a deep bunch that includes seniors David Welch, Joey Conklin, Chris Green; juniors Matt Banks and Brendan Kernan, as well as sophomores Jayden Hull and Andrew Burns .
It's a group that DeFeo believes has tremendous potential if its members continue to work hard and support one another.
"The team dynamic is fantastic. The passion these guys have for the game is obvious," DeFeo said. "They're having a lot fun and enjoy working together to improve themselves collectively as a team. They are very unselfish players and are friends off the field."
Looking ahead, Westminster has as grueling a schedule of any team in Carroll County. In addition to league contests, the Owls will square off with Middletown, DeMatha, Kent Island and Fallston. The team is also schedule to participate in a tournament hosted by Glenelg, and has a first round match up with Wootton from Montgomery County.
It's sure to be an exciting and competitive season for Westminster boys lacrosse. The hope is that it'll have a better ending than last year, but DeFeo just wants his players to do the best they can.
"The goals for this team is to have fun playing the game they love- have passion, enjoy one another 's company, support one another, and respect one another as teammates. To strive to improve each and every day and to make ourselves better by always giving it your best effort," Defeo said. "Don't take a day or play off and play one game at a time. Win counties, go very deep into the playoffs and leave this season with no regrets."
|April 4th, 2017||By: Wick Eisenberg|